Yeah, having Tanner being one of the longest-running chiefs and having his time be 800 years doesn't make much sense when you consider 10000 years/11 leaders means an AVERAGE of 900 years per leader. Unless there were long chief-less periods that they don't talk about, or if the High Ones spent a REALLY long time sitting around doing nothing before Timmain took wolf form.
But, hey, they're immortal. Maybe it took them a good 5000 years to get their act together.
1st 1000 years - Crap!
2nd 1000 years - "You feeling hungry?" "Yeah, I could go for something."
3rd 1000 years - "Damn, missed again! I am really getting hungry!"
4th 1000 years - Timmain - "Do I have to do everything myself?!"
5th 1000 years - "Yay! Food, warm skins, and ... children?"
Sorry to dredge up an old post or two, but I just wanted to add I agree that while we all assume that its 10 (11) chiefs in a 10,000 year stretch, it seems that some
time had to pass from the point the palace crashed to the point Timmorn was born. There were a few tales of the journey, as well as a large amount of ground between the Wolfrider's holt and the Palace (I'm assuming they didn't set out straight for the future Father Tree from the palace, they were probably chased at random by preditors and humans, wandered for easy to find foods like berries and were influenced by climate.)
There wouldn't even be a need to move so far south for some time, as the Trolls didn't even move to the forest until after they had already set up a kingdom (Guttlekraw's Kingdom) and left due to the cold. Though it could possibly be an exaduration, Picknose (or Greymung, I'll have to read again) mentions that they were in the forest before the wolfriders had settled there, which implies, totaled up, that a long period of time passed between the fall of the palace and the settling of the forest (unknown to me how much traveling was involved after the Wolfriders began thinking of their leaders as chiefs and their gathering as a tribe and settling for good in that forest).
I've never liked the idea of them doing nearly nothing and being stuck in a 5000 years long 'shock'. It's just too unlikely to me. All of them would have died within years if they were really that catatonic.
They wouldn't necessarily be doing nearly nothing. I'm sure, if there was a long period of time involved between the crash and the initiation of the Wolfrider Tribe, they were on the run, fleeing at the slightest hint of human or large preditor, eating whatever could be picked from the trees and bushes, roots, all sorts of things that could be found without hunting or farming (nomadic life). In this state, not much of note might be remembered or considered worth mentioning later ("remember that time we ran from the humans?" "Which time?"). Point being, just as we don't know all the tales from our parents youth, the Wolfriders wouldn't necessarily be privy to everything the High Ones went through before.
Further, there's the whole idea that they could have spent long periods of time in wrapstuff. At some point in time the preservers left with the group that started Blue Mountain, but before that they were probably following the group of elven refugees and the elves could have spent centuries or millenia in stasis, not needing food, warmth, or anything else but protection. Then, when they weren't safe any longer, they would have been awakened and move on.
There's lots of forgotten (to the Wolfriders) artifacts that support this, including the cave that Two-Spear found, and at least two or three tribes that broke off long before the Wolfriders started calling themselves as such. Two-Spear himself did not remember the cave from memory, just that it 'felt' like their ancestors had been there (IIRC).
There could indeed have been a lot of history before the count of chiefs started. As to how much, I couldn't guess, but at least one or two thousand years or more, I feel.
Yes, the human shaman throws out the whole timeline. If it weren't for him, it could be claimed that Wolfrider! spanned a much longer time. But as Embala says - the whole thing apparently takes place within one human's lifetime. At the start of Wolfrider! Strongbow looks little more than a kid, Rain has no facefur, Trueflight is still alive etc. When you consider Cutter was about twenty three and Skywise about thirty when Fire and Flight happened, the whole thing up to Shale and Eyes High being killed must have happened in no more than a thirty year timespan, and Crescent was a teen when she died...Strongbow must have been really quite young when she was born. It just doesn't add up with what we know about Strongbow.
Another instance of Rule number one I suppose...
I'm going to have to read Wolfrider! now. I'm itching to figure out if one of my hunches is correct. I had the impression that there had been several shaman over the years, perhaps one after another since the Humans and Wolfriders first bumped into each other. The one that led them back to the forest during Mantricker's time was far too old to have been the mentor to the apprentice that burned the forest.